Sarah Laird, Liam Musgrave, Jonathan Moreland (standing) Adam McWilliams, Kaye Cunningham (standing)

Dispute resolution team welcomes four new faces

With a commitment to building its legal teams to ensure that clients are guaranteed an excellent service and experience, Durham City’s leading law firm, Swinburne Maddison LLP (Swinburne Maddison) has welcomed four new faces to its dispute resolution team.

These appointments bring the total headcount in the fastest growing team in the firm to twenty including 14 lawyers, two partners and four secretaries with two more lawyers on the way.

The recent new recruits comprise three solicitors, Sarah Laird, who qualified in April 2020 and joins from a Newcastle law firm with four years of experience in civil litigation and Kaye Cunningham, who qualified in November 2023. Kaye has been working at a Middlesbrough law firm and brings property litigation experience.


The third new appointment, Liam Musgrave, recently qualified as a solicitor into the dispute resolution team following a two-year period of training at Swinburne Maddison.  He joined the firm in 2021 as a paralegal in the commercial property team, gaining valuable experience on which he will be able to draw when working on property litigation matters.

Finally, Adam McWilliams commenced his training contract with Swinburne Maddison this month, having joined the firm as a paralegal in the residential property team in 2022 before moving into the dispute resolution team.  Here, Adam will begin his training, working across all litigation matters.

Adam’s appointment as a trainee means Swinburne Maddison will have five trainees well on the way to becoming qualified lawyers.

These four appointments have been made not only as a key part of Swinburne Maddison’s strategic growth, but also reflect the continuing demand for the firm’s expertise in the field of litigation and dispute resolution.

David Low appointed Deputy District Judge

Swinburne Maddison is also pleased to announce the appointment of David Low, partner in the dispute resolution team, to the position of Deputy District Judge within the North Eastern Circuit  where he will hear civil cases on a part time basis, alongside continuing with his current caseload.

The formal appointment was made by the Lady Chief Justice of England and Wales, The Right Honourable the Baroness Carr of Walton-on-the-Hill.

Commenting on his appointment, David said:

“With such a wide-ranging brief, I am thrilled by the appointment and very much looking forward to the challenges this new role will bring.  Additionally, it will give me the opportunity to add depth to my personal knowledge and broaden my perspective as a lawyer.”

Managing partner, Jonathan Moreland, who heads up the dispute resolution and employment law teams, congratulated David on his appointment:

“We are immensely proud of David’s achievement after what was a competitive process, especially as he has undertaken all his training at Swinburne Maddison since he joined the firm as a trainee solicitor in 2007.

“We are committed to investing in the next generation of legal minds to provide strength in depth as the firm continues its strategic growth and embarks on a new three-year plan at the beginning of May.

“As for the future, ongoing targeted recruitment, mergers, acquisitions and lateral hires to bolt on to our existing structure and all such possibilities for expansion are on the table as we look for development within and beyond the Durham area.

“As head of our dispute resolution team, I feel incredibly proud that the team is performing so well.  In fact, last year David was recognised as a leading individual in the Legal 500 and Swinburne Maddison as a top tier firm for social housing and commercial litigation, as well as being recognised in property litigation, employment and family law, with four named experts in their fields.  Now we are also able to field a Deputy District Judge.  It is a tremendously exciting time for the firm.”